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Passage: 2 Chronicles 29:1-36:23

2 Chronicles 29:1-36:23 – The Reunited Monarchy

Summary

Following the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel to Assyria in 722 B.C.E., the divided monarchy came to a close. Hezekiah, as a new David and Solomon, unites the people once again around the Jerusalem temple.

Analysis

The final period of the Chronicler's presentation begins with the crucial reign of Hezekiah and ends with the Babylonian exile or, possibly, Cyrus's proclamation of return. The first two periods, the genealogical introduction (1 Chronicles 1-9) and the united monarchy of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 10--2 Chronicles 9), had stressed "all Israel" as a people fully united under a Davidic king and worshiping in the Jerusalem temple. The third period (2 Chronicles 10-28) had stressed the division of "all Israel," following the secession of the northern tribes, into a divided monarchy: Judah with its capital, Jerusalem, in the south, and Israel with its capital, Samaria, in the north. Two events, however--the Assyrian defeat of Israel in the north (30:6) and Ahaz's utter apostasy in the south (28:6, 24-25)--had now reversed the situation that was obtained at the start of the divided monarchy: there was no longer a "northern kingdom," and Judah was apostate. This sets the scene for a "reunited" monarchy in which Hezekiah as a new David and Solomon restores the ideal situation that had been shattered in 2 Chronicles 10.